5 Things Friday: Movies

No_Way_Out_SE_1024x1024I am doing a triple 5 things day for Labor Day weekend. So 15 of my favorite movies of all time. I don’t think I could actually pick 5 out of this group. There are so many good ones to pick from and I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but these all resonate with me for one reason or another. In no particular order:

  1. No Way Out – This is one of those movies that wasn’t a big hit, but it has a great cast and a great twist at the end. Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman and Sean Young play the leads. This movie has been on my list since it came out in 1987.

 

  1. The Matrix – Keanu Reeves and the amazing story of the illusion of life. This first movie is perfect. It is in my top 3 all time.

 

  1. The Quiet Man – A John Ford masterpiece. Won the Academy award for best director and cinematography in 1952. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in her prime. This is a rollicking comedy set in Ireland and it is a hoot.

 

  1. Star Wars: A New Hope – Were you born under a rock? This movie changed science fiction movies from campy to awesome. I was in junior high when this came out and it had a major impact on me. It’s one of the reasons I became a pilot.

 

  1. Tron – This 1982 gem starred Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. A software engineer creates a virtual world and then is captured by it. The CGI is pretty dated now, but the concept and story still hold up.

 

  1. Twister – Two of my favorite actors in Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Made in 1997, it is one of those movies I will watch if I catch it channel surfing. I have seen this movie probably more than any other. It’s all about crazy tornado chasers in Oklahoma.

 

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark – Harrison Ford in the first of this series and amazing adventure films. Nuff said.

 

  1. Aliens – This best of this series IMHO. The original is a masterpiece, but this one is scary and funny and a helleva ride. Bill Paxton in another memorable role, along with Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, from Terminator fame.

 

  1. Back to the Future – Michael J. Fox accidently goes back in time and ends up almost sabotaging his own parents, then he has to fix it so he can be born. Hilarious fun all the way through.

 

  1. Bull Durham – My favorite baseball movie of all time. Kevin Costner plays the perennial minor leaguer at the end of his career, who is called on to help coach a young pitcher with a wonder arm and little sense. Tim Robbins plays the young phenom and I think this is where he and Susan Sarandon met. She plays Annie Savoy, whom both players fall for. It’s a brilliant look at life and love in America’s pastime.

 

  1. Groundhog Day – Another movie that I will watch whenever I see that it’s on. Bill Murray is living the same day over and over. It’s heartwarming and hilarious.

 

  1. Up – This one hit me right in the feels. Pixar won a crap ton of awards for music and animation. It was best animated movie of the year in 2009. An elderly gentleman is trying to finish off his bucket list, but accidentally ends up with an unexpected stow away.

 

  1. Wall-E – Another heart-tugger. Short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, WALL-E is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying up the planet, one piece of garbage at a time. But during 700 years, he has developed a personality, and he’s more than a little lonely, until he spots EVE, a probebot looking for life on Earth.

 

  1. The Incredibles – Another Pixar masterpiece. Superheroes somehow became a liability and have to lead normal mundane lives. One family can’t seem to manage it.

 

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy – A comic book hero movie that is not what I expected. It’s balls out hilarious and action packed. I loved every second of it. Chris Pratt leads a team of misfit badasses.

Tell me about your favorites!

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

5 Things Friday: Favorite Bands

Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice. Photo: Clockenflap.

I listen to a lot of music. My taste is all over the map. I generally lean in favor of heavy guitar, but if you look at this list there are several bands here that don’t feature the guitar. I like melodic stuff. If it doesn’t have a good melody I probably won’t care for it. There are exceptions, like some Beastie Boys or some Clash stuff, but overall, I have to have a good melody. I like Classical, Rock, a little bit of Country, and a lot of Alternative Rock. I enjoy the Blues and a dabble of Reggae and Pop, as well.

When I went to make this list it, on the first blush I noticed something. My first list covered a period of almost 50 years. I decided to go with it and it works out like this:

  1. Early 70s – Bread – They are probably the band you don’t know, but if you heard one of their songs you would immediately recognize it. I absolutely love David Gates. His melodic pop songs are what made this band a hit back in the early 70s.

Their top ten songs are all fantastic:

Everything I Own                    Make it with you

Guitar Man                              If

Diary                                        Baby – I’m a want you

Aubrey                                     Lost Without Your Love

It Doesn’t Matter to Me           Sweet Surrender

Go find them online. I think they will surprise you.

  1. Late 70s to early 80s – The Police – They are legendary. The made great music for only 5 years, from 78-83. Sting has had a long career afterward, but they made an indelible mark on the music scene and then stopped when they were on top. They were my favorite band when I was in high school.
  2. Early 80s to 90s – U2 – I can still remember the first time I heard one of their songs. I was a freshman in college and was in a dance club in Denver when the video for Sunday Bloody Sunday appeared on the huge wall display over the dance floor. I went back and found all of their albums and then followed them through the years with each release. They made a big switch when I was in pilot training with The Joshua Tree, and initially I didn’t like it, but after listening to it more I began to appreciate it. Under a Blood Red Sky is bittersweet for me, as I had tickets to that concert and ended up not being able to go. I did catch them live in the late 80s and it was epic. Of course, they are still making music, but the early stuff is the stuff I really love.
  3. 00s – Alter Bridge – I was sad when it looked like Creed was done. But the lead guitarist, Mark Tremonti is a workhorse and a prolific songwriter and took the original lineup from Creed and found a new lead singer, Miles Kennedy from the Mayfield Four. Much to Tremonti’s surprise, Kennedy was also a world class guitarist. Their stuff is serious rock and on the heavy side. Their ballads are fantastic, too. My favorite album is Blackbird, there is not a bad song on this album. I can put their stuff on endless loop and listen all day. They have a new album coming out in October for my birthday!
  4. 10s – Wolf Alice – I think I was listening to the alternative rock station on my cable television My Choice, when I first heard them. I went immediately to the internet and started searching for them. They are very young and fresh and the talk of the British rock scene. They have an eclectic rock vibe and a very distinctive sound. Ellie Roswell and Joff Oddie started as an acoustic duo then added a bassist and drummer and went electric and found their sound. Visions of Life won the Mercury Prize last year for best British Album. It is cool and breezy and wonderful. It also will rock your ass off. Here is one of my favorites: Mona Lisa Smile

 

Who are your favorites?

5 Things Friday – What I’ve Learned About Relationships

 

photo of couple hugging during dawn
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
  1. Honesty – It really is the best policy. Trust is huge. Jealousy is a horrible thing and lack of faith in the other person leads to this in many cases. I can vaguely remember being in the dating scene and trying to find someone you could trust. It is much harder than it should be. It was so refreshing meeting my wife. We don’t lie to each other and never have. I don’t have to remember what I told her to keep it straight, she already knows. We have been together a long time now, 27 years, and we have learned to trust each other implicitly. I think this is the bedrock of any strong relationship.
  2. Servant heart – This might sound funny, but what I mean is put your partner first. It takes both people doing this to make it work or resentment will follow. If you are always the one giving and not getting anything in return it won’t work in the long run. The reciprocal is also true. That is not to say we should do things to get things in return, but if both people are putting the other ahead of themselves it works fabulously. That doesn’t mean you can’t have solo time, or plan for things one person wants to do, but when you have the best interest of your partner in mind it all balances out.
  3. Communicate – This is true of just about any endeavor. It is usually the weakest link in any organization from big to small. Keeping others informed about what is going on will save embarrassment and hurt feelings. It helps others empathize if they understand what is going on. It allows you to have teamwork and accomplish things much easier than trying to shoulder a burden by yourself.
  4. Apologize – Even when you are not wrong. Sometimes it just takes someone to say they are sorry to break the ice. But especially if you are in the wrong. Being stubborn does not lead to a better relationship. My wife and I have a policy that we don’t go to bed mad at each other. I won’t say there haven’t been times when it was a close thing, but in the end we talk out whatever the issue may be, and we do try to put the other person first. Keeping that in mind when you are mad is hard sometimes, but in the long run letting go of your pride and remembering why you are together is usually enough of a reason. Making up is a wonderful feeling.
  5. Expectations –  Be clear about them up front. Don’t make your partner guess at what you expect. Don’t get mad at your partner because they didn’t do what you expected when you didn’t let them know. It is not intuitive to do this, even though it seems so obvious in retrospect. This sounds simple, and it is, but it surprises me how many people don’t do this easy thing. I tried to make it one of my priorities as a leader as well.

What have you learned about relationships?

5 Things Friday: Reasons I don’t have a Blog Post

Disappoint

  1. I’ve had a long week and I’m tired. I have hit all my running goals this week, plus added in PIYO on the off-days.
  2. Trying to do too many things at one time. Couple that with not liking my options and it is easy to drop it out of my priority list.
  3. I have been busy at work (not really,) which has taken away some time to do other things I enjoy. Besides, it was way too nice outside this week to get anything done inside.
  4. It’s after 11 pm on Thursday night and I want to sleep and haven’t written the blog post yet.
  5. I don’t feel like writing (that is a thing that must be constantly fought against.) Hopefully, I will feel like it this weekend. I have made very little progress on my short story this week, and honestly, I should have finished it by now.

Oops . . .

5 Things: My favorite Music to Listen to When I Write

I can write when its quiet. I can sort of write when the television or streaming device is playing. I can write when I am in a public space and its not horribly loud. I am pretty damned good at tuning this out (Just ask my wife.) But if I have my druthers I like to listen to music when I write. Here are 5 of my favorites in no particular order.

  1. Soundtracks are great, especially science fiction movies or adventure movies. My favorite of all time is Tron Legacy by Daft Punk. I listen to this pretty regularly. Pirates of the Caribbean are all pretty good. Ironman soundtracks are also great. If you are doing horror I would recommend the Diablo game soundtracks.
  2. Playlists are also great. I made a bunch back in the day when I started using iTunes. One of my favorites in one with Alterbridge, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace. I listened to this a lot when I wrote my first novel, so it has become a nostalgia thing now.
  3. Build your own playlist for that project. I haven’t really done this all the way. I’ve started a couple of times but never really finished it. I have done like a soundtrack for the movie that might be made. That is always fun. But building the soundtrack takes considerable time, time I would rather use actually writing in most cases.
  4. Pandora is good for music if you don’t have anything particular in mind. I like Bread Radio for 70s stuff and Talk Talk Radio for 80s stuff. I have a bunch of other stations, too.
  5. Spotify is unbelievable. I can pick from so many things. Songs or Albums or playlists or a particular band or even a mood. My son in law made some really great playlists. I have been listening to a lot of 311 recently. Radiohead really works for me. It is eclectic enough that it doesn’t distract me.

What do you listen to? Who are your favorites?